Roland JD-800

Roland JD-800 Image

The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.

The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.

Roland JD-800 Image

It has been used by William Ørbit, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 808 State, Ken Ishii, Astral Projection, Rabbit in the Moon, Depeche Mode, Underworld, Tangerine Dream, LTJ Bukem, Apollo 440, Jean Michel Jarre, ATB, Vangelis, Pet Shop Boys, Faithless, Luke Vibert, Mouse on Mars, Laurent Garnier, MC Hammer, Bushflange, Genesis, and Eat Static.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland JD-800? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

128 Visitor comments
May 20, 2012 @ 7:58 am
I have to disagree with comments that say this synth's sound is dated and tied down to its internal ROM sound (that you have to like the internal samples and that the synth only sounds like these samples). That's just silly. It's a full-blown synth with resonant multimode filters, dual LFOs, complex 8-segment envelopes, and great effects. Just sticking with the basic saw, square, pulse, sine (etc.) waveforms, you could create new sounds way beyond the factory presets. Also, most of the evolving sounds are created in synthesis (which you can alter with the sliders), not sampled loops.
Ron B
May 2, 2012 @ 8:45 am
Bought this syth last week off eBay and was a bit apprehensive after reading f a's comments. Synth was delivered yesterday and I spent hours finding my way round it. Really love it - admittedly it's the first synth I have owned in years and always wanted a JD-800 so still in the novelty and discovery stage.
f a
April 26, 2012 @ 3:51 pm
Overrated synth. I had one and thought the sound was weak. Nothing special about this board, no matter how you program it. It lacks character. Thought the D70 sounded better,which I thought was boring as well. Don't get me wrong, I do like some Roland gear. I've had an MKS50, D550 and have an MKS70 which are great synths. Anyway, I sold this board. Low and behold when it arrived to the buyer,it didn't power up. Because of the warm weather, the epoxy glue that is part of the keybed oozed all over the place causing the problem.I'll never own one again.
caramel prisoner
April 24, 2012 @ 2:44 pm
programmers dream. I can spend hours on this. lush, complex, sophisticated and darth-vader-looks.

king of cool :)
Christian Morency
April 10, 2012 @ 8:09 am
I just released a JD-VST patch editor for JD-800 and JD-990... in beta-test more info here:


VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.31 (906 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 24 voices
  • Oscillators - ROM based digital synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 6 part multitimbral
  • Keyboard - 61 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1991-93
  • Resources & Credits
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